Primary Hypertension: The exact
causes for primary hypertension are not known but some
probable causes include:
Lack of physical activity (Exercise)
Family history (1)
Secondary Hypertension: Some known
causes for secondary hypertension include:
Renal artery stenosis
Polycystic kidney disease (inherited disease)
Radiation that effects kidneys
Coarctation of the aorta
Preeclampsia (a complication of pregnancy)
Acute intermittent porphyria
Acute lead poisoning
Non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs
Licorice (excessive amounts) (9).
Risk factors include:
I. Factors beyond our control:
Age: Aging increases the risk of
developing hypertension. Women are at increased
risk of developing hypertension post menopause.
Race: Black people are at a
higher risk of developing hypertension as
compared with Caucasians. Black people develop
hypertension at a younger age and suffer more
frequently from serious complications such as
strokes and heart attacks.
Family history: Hypertension
could be hereditary.
II. Factors that can be controlled:
Excess sodium in diet: Excess salt (Sodium Chloride)
in one's diet can retain fluid in the body which can lead to an increase
in blood pressure.
Less potassium in diet: Lesser potassium intake in one's
diet can lead to an imbalance of sodium and potassium in the body
cells leading to an increase in hypertension
Obesity: An obese person requires more blood to supply
oxygen and nutrients to tissues and as the volume of blood circulated
through the blood vessels increases, so does the pressure on the artery
Usage of tobacco: Chemicals in tobacco damage the lining
of artery walls causing the arteries to narrow, increasing the blood
Physically inactive: Physically inactive people tend
have higher heart rates leading to more hard work by the heart, meaning
forceful contraction and more blood pressure. Physical inactivity
also leads to obesity.
Alcohol abuse: Excessive consumption of alcohol can
cause the release of hormones that increase the blood the flow and
Stress: High levels of stress leads to a dramatic rise
in blood pressure.
Chronic conditions: Chronic conditions such as high
cholesterol, diabetes, kidney disease and sleep apnea may increase
the risk of HBP (10).
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Diseases section is for informational purposes only.
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